We had all seen the broadcast. I knew what it meant. I'd wondered why he'd felt the need to come all the way out to Evati the night before, and if his suggestion that he 'take me out' had had more than one meaning, or merely been one last attempt to 'save' me from the brewing storm. He'd wanted me to go pop Amarrians with him. Sorry, Roc; that's not the way I dance, and I don't need saving.
Mynxee has been mostly absent the last couple days since. I hope she's alright.
They'd made a try for Hallan first. That really struck a nerve; I like the boy and feel a certain sisterly protectiveness towards him. He'd been one of our first gang-mates when the corp was just starting up, and it was always reassuring to know he had my back. Like the rest of us, Hallan is a survivor, and it had been a relief when my girls and I finally located him. He'd been a mess, and unconscious, but we'd dumped him into his pod, hooked him up, and towed him into space in order to save his life by killing him.
The irony; it burns.
It wasn't directly Roc's fault. He couldn't have known the effect his words would have on others... could he? He couldn't be blamed, but it was hard to not want to point a finger to the bloodstains on the floor and ask, 'Is this what you wanted? Do you see what you've done?' Did he even know? Would he care?
It feels like the world's pulled an about-face while I was off visiting my brother.
The Bastards and the Hellcats were going strong. Our recent recruitment drives had brought some impressive new talents into our extended 'family', including Tavon Wulfe -- one of my old mates from my early days pirating with UWoF and Atrocitas -- and Jmarr. I had little fear for our future in Evati and Minmatar space at large: adaptation comes naturally to us, a survival trait carefully cultivated by those who choose to operate free of the rules and restrictions imposed by the social hierarchies of Empire space.
Wraithlike, silent, I flit through system after system, my own private roam. Now here, now gone. No targets tonight which I can take on easily in my interceptor, but the time will come.
More and more, I was feeling my wings stretch, the swirling tattooed pattern long-healed on my back still making its presence felt. It was my own design, and somewhere in the back of my head the inked lines felt like they meant something... represented something.
I'm not a very spiritual person, but our most primitive instincts recognise the power of symbols.
Whether he liked it or not, Roc had become a symbol. But freedom is a scary thing; sometimes it's more comfortable to just let the tides pick you up and carry you, rather than fighting through them for the open water beyond. It's easier, it avoids conflict, it makes difficult decisions simple by allowing you to relinquish the responsibility to others.
It also gets you nowhere.
Becoming a symbol would be a lot for a simple soldier like Roc -- not that I think of him as simple, but a soldier was all he really wanted to be -- to deal with. I could see why he might succumb to the demands of others rather than telling them to go fuck themselves. Which is what I'd have done, but I've always felt society needed to take more responsibility for itself rather than foisting it onto the shoulders of the unwilling.
The gate fires, dropping me into the next system not seven kilometres from an Electus Matari HAC. Vagabond vs Taranis, that would be interesting. But she jumps out without waiting to see what's come through, leaving me free to resume my wander.